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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, February 10, 2013 6:34 pm

No. 10 Kentucky women beat Vanderbilt 75-53


A'dia Mathies scored a season-high 28 points, and 10th-ranked Kentucky beat Vanderbilt 75-53 Sunday for the Wildcats' second straight road victory.

The Wildcats (21-3, 9-2) are finishing the regular season with five of their final seven Southeastern Conference games on the road, and they followed up an overtime win at Arkansas by taking control late in the first half in this one. Kentucky has won five straight in this series while handing Vandy its worst loss this season.

Bria Goss had 15 for Kentucky, while Jennifer O'Neill and Samarie Walker each had 10.

Vanderbilt (15-8, 5-5) has lost five of its last eight, and the Commodores are 1-6 against teams currently ranked in the Top 25.

Tiffany Clarke led the Commodores with 20 points. Christina Foggie had 12 before being knocked out of the game with an injured right knee, and Jasmine Lister had 10.

Foggie, the SEC's leading scorer last season and sixth this season averaging 15.9 points per game, hurt her right knee with 4:43 left and Kentucky up 66-47. She was reaching for a loose ball when Azia Bishop of Kentucky dived for the ball and banged into Foggie. That left Foggie on the court for a couple minutes before she walked with assistance to the edge of the court. She was then carried to the locker room.

This game was decided well before then.

Vanderbilt had the advantage of a week off going into this game, while Kentucky played at Arkansas on Thursday night. The Wildcats had much more energy as they had a 39-27 edge on the boards and forced 23 turnovers. Kentucky used that for a 27-17 scoring edge off turnovers while turning 13 steals into 10 fast-break points.

Kentucky led 31-22 at halftime after finishing the half outscoring Vanderbilt 16-7. The Commodores hit seven of their first eight shots against Kentucky's pressure defense and just kept moving the ball inside for layup after layup. But the Wildcats had seven steals and forced Vanderbilt into 15 turnovers by halftime, and they wore down the Commodores.

The game started tight with three ties and five lead changes, and Clarke's layup with 8:30 left gave Vanderbilt its last lead at 17-15. Then the Commodores went cold and hit only two more shots the rest of the half. Goss hit a 3 with 8:02 to go, giving Kentucky the lead for good, and Mathies only warmed up as she capped an 11-0 spurt with back-to-back buckets. She also added a pair of free throws and hit a 3 in the final seconds for the 31-22 halftime lead.

Vanderbilt came in as the SEC's most accurate free throw shooters in league play, hitting 79.7 percent of its shots. Against Kentucky, the Commodores didn't get to the free throw line until 17:11 of the second half when DaNesha Stallworth picked up her third foul.